Hello all,

This is my very first post and I must say, these forums are the best - great information covering virtually every topic involving pianos.

So here is my question: I am evaluating several piano teachers here in my area (adult beginner-with some experience playing as a child). This past weekend, I had the opportunity to "interview" one instructor who stated that she had been teaching piano for 30 years but that she stopped playing for a while to raise her children. She stated that now that her children are all grown and out of the nest that she has gotten back to teaching full-time. I got the impression that she had been back teaching several years now. Anyway, at the end of the meeting I asked her to play something for me and she asked what I wanted her to play. I told her "anything" would be fine. She grabbed some of her sheet music that she had for upcoming accompaniments (church choir and some other kids' band) and proceeded to play a few songs. First, I found it strange that she could not play a single song from memory. Is this customary for someone who claims to have taught for so long? She indicated that because she does a lot of accompany work that she doesn't have the time nor the interest in memorizing songs. Sounds plausible. She also attempted to play a well-known Beethoven song and couldn't remember the song. Second, she attempted to play several songs but continuously hit the wrong key every time she played. I got the feeling she was embarrassed by how she was playing. Is this normal? I would think someone with this much experience could play at least part of a song without hitting the wrong keys continuously. I really liked her on a personal level and think she is right for me but I have concerns about her playing ability. Is this fair? She provides lessons in a studio in a piano store and was attempting to play a new Steinway for the first time and according to her, the piano was not very responsive and was very heavy - hence she was not used to the feel. I did happen to hear one of her students play before their session ended and I thought the student sounded pretty good but I have no idea how long the person's been studying with her, etc.

I am considering 2-3 other teachers but really liked this one's personality. I haven't met the others as yet. What should I do?

Thank you for your help.